Looking for good food near you? Men tend to be more locally minded when it comes to searching out food choices than women, according to researchers at the University of Montreal and published in Preventive Medicine.
Using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, researchers looked at the eating habits of 49,403 Canadians living in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. All food businesses — supermarkets, grocery stores, fruit and vegetable stores and natural food stores (read: healthy food sources) as well as convenience stores and fast-food restaurants (read: less healthy) — were mapped out in each city. They used this data to assess the accessibility of healthy and unhealthy food around each participant’s home. Women were found to eat an average of 4.4 portions of fruits and vegetables per day, almost one more than men. Researchers noticed was that women tended to venture out farther to see out healthier options, while men tend to stay close to home. So how do you motivate to find the healthiest option for your physique when they aren’t a reach away? Alexandra Miller, RDN, LDN, a dietitian at Medifast, Inc. offers up these suggestions.
- Always keep a nutritious snack with you, so that you have a healthy option to turn to. Store it in the car, gym bag, desk, or wherever else you may be.
- Order a tall glass of water with ice or lemon, unsweetened tea, sparkling water, coffee or another calorie-free beverage.
- Go 80/20. Make 80 percent of the food you eat healthy and allow 20 percent for those other options.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for your food to be prepared the way you like it. Ask for the dressing and sauce on the side. Try dipping your fork lightly into the dressing before grabbing a bite of salad, or drizzle the sauce lightly at your own discretion. Skip high-calorie toppings like cheese, croutons, and crispy onion straws, and the bread or bun on your sandwich. Ask for raw veggie toppings like tomato and cucumbers, or a lettuce wrap in place of the bun. Request that your food be baked, broiled, poached, roasted, steamed or grilled. Avoid terms like crispy, creamy, au gratin or fried.
- Think Lean & Green. Lean protein and non-starchy veggies are nutrient-rich options that will help fill you up and keep you satisfied. Look for grilled or roasted lean meats like chicken breast, white meat turkey, buffalo, pork tenderloin, and flank, porterhouse or T-bone steak. Fish and seafood are also great options. Crudités with low-fat dip, steamed vegetables without added sauce, broth based soups, and salads with vegetables and dressing on the side are other options to look for.